Dean Gillian Lester is a leading authority on employment law and policy, specializing in workplace intellectual property law, contracts, public finance policy, and the design of social insurance laws and regulations.
Dean Lester joined the Law School as its dean, and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, in 2015 after two decades in the University of California, first at UCLA School of Law and later on the faculty of Berkeley Law School, serving as its interim dean from 2012 to 2014. She has held visiting appointments at Harvard, Georgetown, University of Southern California, University of Chicago, University of Toronto, and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.
Dean Lester is the editor of Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law (with Hugh Collins and Virginia Mantouvalou), from Oxford University Press, and her widely used casebook, Employment Law: Cases and Materials (with Steven L. Willborn, Stewart J. Schwab and John F. Burton Jr.), is now in its sixth edition. Her journal articles and book chapters include “‘Keep Government Out of My Medicare’: The Elusive Search for Popular Support of Taxes and Social Spending” and “Can Joe the Plumber Support Redistribution? Law, Social Preferences, and Sustainable Policy Design.”
Dean Lester serves on the boards of the Legal Aid Society of New York and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and formerly on the executive committee of the Association of American Law Schools. She is also a member of the American Law Institute (ALI) and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law (Oxford U. Press, 2018) (with Hugh Collins & Virginia Mantouvalou)
The book is an interdisciplinary investigation by lawyers and philosophers into the philosophical ideas, concepts, and principles that provide the foundation for the field of labour law or employment law. The book addresses doubts that have been expressed about whether a worker-protective labour law is needed at all, what should be regarded as the proper scope of the field in the light of developments such as the integration of work and home life by means of technology, the globalisation of the economy, and the precarious kinds of work that thrive in the gig economy.
Paying particular attention to political philosophy and theories of justice, the contributions focus on four themes:
I. Freedom, dignity, and human rights;
II. Distributive justice and exploitation;
III. Workplace democracy and self-determination;
IV. Social inclusion
- Employment Law Cases and Materials, (with Willborn, Schwab & Burton), LexisNexis, 2017, (6th edition)
- Family Security Insurance: A New Foundation for Economic Security, Workplace Flexibility, 2010, and Berkeley Center for Health, Economic and Family Security, 2010
- Jumping the Queue: An Inquiry into the Legal Treatment of Students with Disabilities, (with Mark Kelman), Harvard University Press, 1997
Articles and Chapters
- “Age Discrimination and Labour Law in the United States,” (Mia Ronnmar and Ann Numhauser-Henning eds.), Age Discrimination in Labour Law, Kluwer Law International, 2015
- “‘Keep Government Out of My Medicare’: The Search for Popular Support of Taxes and Social Spending,” (Michael Sherraden and Marion Crain eds.), Working and Living in the Shadow of Economic Fragility, Oxford University Press, 2013
- “Can Joe the Plumber Support Redistribution? Law, Social Preferences, and Sustainable Policy Design,” Tax Law Review, 2011
- “Beyond Collective Bargaining: Modern Unions and Social Solidarity,” (Brian Langille and Guy Davidov, eds.), The Idea of Labor Law, Cambridge University Press, 2011
- “Restrictive Covenants and Choice of Laws: An American Perspective,” Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, 2010
- “A Defense of Paid Family Leave,” Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, 2005
- “Unemployment Insurance and Wealth Redistribution,” UCLA Law Review, 2001
- “Restrictive Covenants, Employee Training, and the Limits of Transaction-Cost Analysis,” 76 Indiana Law Journal, 2001
- “Careers and Contingency,” Stanford Law Review, 1998
Remarks and Testimony
- Remarks of Dean Gillian Lester, Columbia Law School Graduation 2021
- Remarks of Dean Gillian Lester, Columbia Law School Graduation 2020
- Remarks of Dean Gillian Lester, Columbia Law School Graduation 2019
- Remarks of Dean Gillian Lester, Columbia Law School Graduation 2018
- Remarks of Dean Gillian Lester, Columbia Law School Graduation 2017
- Remarks of Dean Gillian Lester, Columbia Law School Graduation 2016
- Remarks of Dean Gillian Lester, Columbia Law School Graduation 2015
- Dean Lester Tells Congress Immigration Order Should Be Rescinded